They were all about pushing boundaries, his new act is just peddling in nostalgia. Hook, who played bass with Joy Division and New Order, seems simply to have run out of ideas.
Hook is not the worst of frontmen. He lacks the late Ian Custis’s edgy presence, but his gruff persona and passable vocals carry the act. His band, The Light, play note perfect versions of the doom-laden anthems that sound-tracked the dark end of the British new wave — ‘She’s Lost Control’, ‘Isolation’, and ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ all get an airing — but you can’t help thinking Curtis must be turning in his grave.
Dublin outfit Jape proved that music can be intelligent and complex and still be danced to. Richie Egan and friends played a storming set that included ‘Too Many People’, ‘I Was A Man’, and the eternally lovely ‘Floating’. Egan has perfected the art of penning electronic pop classics that lodge in the brain but never outstay their welcome. His laidback attitude on stage belies a work ethic that has seen him carve out a unique niche as one of the busiest musicians in Ireland.
Local outfit Slow Motion Heroes were also impressive. The six-man ’supergroup’, fronted by the charismatic Barry McAuliffe, put a distinctive spin on the kind of guitar-heavy, ballsy pop that has a commercial gloss to it: they do catchy lyrics and big choruses better than anyone else around at the moment, as exemplified by their latest single, ‘Paper Over Cracks’.